Costs of Banking in Cayman Islands: Opening & Operating Accounts

Cayman Islands banks have high monthly account maintenance fees, transactions fees, and card withdrawals fees like those in most offshore banking jurisdictions.

The costs of banking in the Cayman Islands will vary depending on how an applicant wants to apply for an account in the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands, their ties to the territory, the account they are applying for, and the specific requirements they will need to meet.

We’ll dig into each of these cost variables for banking in the Cayman Islands below. However, if you would like access to our free series on banking in the Cayman Islands, click the link above and unlock our teamโ€™s expert take on Cayman banks, Cayman opening requirements, making international transfers to send money to the Cayman Islands, and much more.

You can also use the table of contents and jump to the section that matches your Cayman Islands banking needs and continue learning about the costs of banking in the Cayman Islands.

Table of Contents

  1. Costs of Banking in the Cayman Islands?
  2. How Much Does It Cost to Open a Bank Account in the Cayman Islands?
  3. Costs of Operating a Bank Account in the Cayman Islands?
  4. Frequently Asked Cayman Islands Banking Questions
  5. Ready to Open an Offshore Bank Account?

Costs of Banking in the Cayman Islands?

The costs of banking in the Cayman Islands are moderately expensive and can range between USD 10 to USD 50 per month for maintenance activities. That said, initial costs also vary and can be considerably higher than ongoing maintenance expenses. However, in most cases, the costs of banking in the Cayman Islands can be offset through various services and bank products, resulting in no cost to banking in the Cayman Islands at all.

Of course, different client profiles will incur different expenses. So, in this section, we will start with a general look at the relevant expenses when opening an offshore bank account in the Cayman Islands. This will then be followed by the costs of opening financial accounts, specifically Cayman Islands personal bank accounts, business bank accounts, as well as private bank accounts.

Key Takeaways

  • The Cayman Islands is a moderately expensive banking jurisdiction
  • Account opening fees are rare for most applicants
  • Certain banks do charge a FATCA fee to Americans
  • Monthly account fees can be high for non-residents and entities
  • Transaction fees are high but standard for offshore banking
  • Deposit requirements are low compared to other established private banking jurisdictions
  • Opening in person is not necessary and will add considerable expenses to opening in Cayman

To begin, letโ€™s explore how much it costs to open a bank account in the Cayman Islands, broken down by account type.

How Much Does it Cost to Open a Bank Account in the Cayman Islands?

When it comes to opening and operating a bank account in the Cayman Islands, there are six (6) main expense categories that Cayman Islands banks typically charge individuals and entities.

Not surprisingly, the costs will vary depending on which Cayman bank you have accounts with and your client profile. But, generally speaking, the list of financial entities and the list of banks in the Cayman Islands have been known to charge compliance and due diligence fees, maintenance fees, transfer fees (domestic and international), check fees, debit card fees, and fees for special requests.

Costs to Open and Operate a Bank Account in the Cayman Islands

  • Compliance and due diligence fees
  • Maintenance fees
  • Transfer fees (domestic and international)
  • Check fees
  • Debit card fees
  • Fees for special requests

Importantly, banks in the Cayman Islands vary widely in the way they charge fees to foreign and non-resident individuals and entities. Unfortunately, regardless of whether you bank with one of the leading global banking enterprises, the largest banks in the Cayman Islands, or a smaller alternative, you will need to compare fees before applying.

Likewise, while foreigners with Cayman residency can access a wide range of banks in the Cayman Islands, non-residents with no ties to the Cayman Islands will have more limited (and more expensive) options. So, needless to say, itโ€™s best to review all of your banking options in the Cayman Islands to ensure you’re choosing the most suitable financial firm and the best bank in the Cayman Islands for you and your banking needs. That said, there are additional fees that you may be charged when opening here, which we cover below.

How Much Does it Cost to Open Offshore Bank Accounts in the Cayman Islands?

Offshore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands can include personal bank accounts, business bank accounts, or private bank accounts. We will cover each of these accounts and their Cayman Islands-specific cost considerations below.

But first, we want to discuss the costs that everyone should expect when opening a bank account in the Cayman Islands. These costs center around the account setup guidelines and the Cayman Islands banking requirements that most banks will require you to provide. More specifically, the costs involved with obtaining documents from other banks and jurisdictions.

Cayman Islands Account Opening Document Costs

  • Bank reference letters (Certain banks charge fees)
  • Document authentication (Required in certain instances)
  • Certificate of good standing (Certain entities older than one year)
  • Sending documents to the bank by courier (Sometimes required)

Of course, if you are planning on visiting George Town (the capital city of the Cayman Islands) to open your Cayman offshore bank account in person, you will have many more (and much higher) expenses to consider as well. If you would like to explore opening an overseas bank account and Cayman Islands offshore banking services further, you can use this link to access our free guide.

On the other hand, if you are looking to open a personal bank account in the Cayman Islands, here are the Cayman Islands specific costs to be aware of.

How Much Does it Cost to Open Personal Bank Accounts in the Cayman Islands?

Whether you are a Cayman permanent resident or a non-resident of the Cayman Islands, you can open a Cayman Islands bank account without paying application or opening fees. Of course, you still need to pass each bankโ€™s onboarding and compliance process. With this in mind, the only fees associated with opening a personal bank account in the Cayman Islands will be maintenance fees and charges for specific services used by the account holder.

That said, certain individuals that Cayman Islands banks deem high-risk may need to pay additional due diligence and compliance expenses. However, this is common in most offshore banking jurisdictions, especially those that are sought after like Cayman, Singapore, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.

If you are looking to access corporate financial solutions or a Cayman Islands business bank account, here are the specific costs to be aware of.

How Much Does it Cost to Open Business Bank Accounts in the Cayman Islands?

In most instances, banks in the Cayman Islands require businesses to demonstrate local operations and local substance to open a business bank account. Not surprisingly, there can often be additional costs involved in presenting this information. For example, being required to provide multiple documents, and supporting letters, and the possible requirement of showing up in person in the Cayman Islands to open an account.

With this in mind, we suggest reviewing our free guide on how to open a business bank account in the Cayman Islands before deciding where to apply. Likewise, if you have an operating business with limited (or no) ties to the Cayman Islands, it is usually best to consider one of the other suitable banking jurisdictions instead.

How Much Does it Cost to Open Private Bank Accounts in the Cayman Islands?

Unlike personal and business banking, private banking has a long list of costs that prospective customers need to consider. This is true whether you are looking to open private bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, Singapore, or any other banking jurisdiction. Not surprisingly, each bank offering private banking services varies in the way they present and charge their fees. However, there are several standard fee categories that applicants should consider prior to applying. With this in mind, here is a look at the private banking costs you should consider before opening private bank accounts in the Cayman Islands.

Cayman Islands Private Banking Costs to Consider

  • Outbound transaction fees from the Cayman Islands to abroad
  • Fees for executing investments with a Cayman bank
  • Discretionary management fees charged by Cayman banks
  • Active advisory fees charged by Cayman banks
  • Fees for related services like accounting support, structuring, etc.
  • And much more

In most cases, the costs to access tailored financial services and Cayman Islands private banking products are reasonable considering the services provided. This is especially true when comparing the Cayman Islands to other banking jurisdictions. However, the costs of maintaining a private bank account in Cayman can be expensive. So, it’s important to review a complete fee list prior to applying.

That said, every jurisdiction has something different to offer when it comes to private banking. And, in many instances, private banking fees are justified based on the benefits that the bank is offering to prospective clients. So, if you are looking for specific financial rewards and banking benefits in the Cayman Islands, you may want to compare a few similar jurisdictions as well before starting to apply.

Costs of Operating a Bank Account in the Cayman Islands?

To recap, the costs of operating a bank account in the Cayman Islands will differ depending on the type of account and client profile. That said, the specific financial advisory solutions and the Cayman Islands banking services you tap into also impact the costs associated with banking in the country. With this in mind, here is a look at the typical costs that you can expect when operating a bank account in the Cayman Islands.

How Much Are Bank Fees in the Cayman Islands?

The following are examples of standard bank fees charged by banks in the Cayman Islands. Importantly, before applying for a bank account in the Cayman Islands, always request an up-to-date fee list from each Cayman bank you are considering.

  • Account maintenance in the Cayman Islands: $5.00 to $16.00
  • Inbound SWIFT fees in the Cayman Islands: up to $30.00 for low-value transactions
  • Outbound SWIFT fees in the Cayman Islands: $10.00 to $1,000 depending on transaction value
  • Inbound Cayman Islands transfers: $0.00
  • Outbound Cayman Islands transfers: $2.50

Itโ€™s important to note that Cayman Islands banks will charge additional fees as well, including fees for falling below the minimum account balance and fees for using your Cayman Islands ATM card. Before opening accounts, confirm whether balance requirements are applied to each account (in the case of multicurrency) or if they only apply to your primary Cayman Islands Dollar account, the currency of the Cayman Islands, or your foreign currency account.

How Much Does It Cost to Use an ATM in the Cayman Islands?

The following are examples of the costs of using an ATM in the Cayman Islands and abroad with Cayman bank cards. That said, each bank in the Cayman Islands will set its own fees. So, before using a Cayman ATM card abroad, be sure to confirm all relevant fees with the bank.

  • Domestic ATM fees in the Cayman Islands: $2.00
  • International ATM fees outside of the Cayman Islands: $2.50 (varies based on Network Provider)

How Much Does it Cost to Transfer Money to the Cayman Islands?

The following are examples of how much it would cost to transfer money to the Cayman Islands from the United States using bank transfers via SWIFT, money transfer providers like Western Union, and digital transfer services like Wise.

  • International bank transfers to the Cayman Islands: $30.00
  • International money transfer to the Cayman Islands: $2.99
  • Digital transfer service to the Cayman Islands: $15.00

What Are the Other Costs of Banking in the Cayman Islands?

Different client risk profiles can experience additional expenses in terms of onboarding and account maintenance.

Of course, if you plan on visiting George Town (or another location in the Cayman Islands) in order to open a bank account in person, you will also need to pay for flights, hotels, transportation, and daily expenses. However, itโ€™s important to note that showing up in the Cayman Islands does not guarantee account opening success. This is especially true since there are only a handful of banks in the Cayman Islands that accept foreign non-residents.

Additionally, certain individuals need to consider the additional costs of disclosing and making tax-related filings about their bank accounts. For example, US citizens are required to complete an FBAR (FinCen 114) and Form 8938 when their Cayman Islands bank account (and other foreign accounts) surpass certain thresholds.

Lastly, like everywhere, it’s important to note that there are compliance hazards and risks to banking in the Cayman Islands. So, be sure to use the available resources above to navigate your options and find the best country for your needs.

Frequently Asked Cayman Islands Banking Questions

Below are a few questions we receive from people exploring the costs of banking in the Cayman Islands. If you have further questions you would like answered about banking in Cayman don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Bank Account in the Cayman Islands?

The costs to open a bank account in the Cayman Islands will depend on the client, bank, and type of account. However, generally speaking, foreign non-residents can expect to deposit between USD 100,000 to USD 250,000 when opening accounts here. Monthly maintenance can range between USD 10.00 to 50.00 and service fees are typical of offshore banking jurisdictions. That said, if you are looking to open a private bank account in the Cayman Islands, fees and deposit amounts will usually be higher.

Is It Safe to Open a Bank Account in the Cayman Islands?

Yes, it is safe to open a bank account in the Cayman Islands. However, you need to choose a safe bank with strong operations and risk management. That said, banks in the Cayman Islands are known for being well-established, reputable, and stable. In fact, the Cayman Islands is an established international banking jurisdiction with world-class financial institutions to choose from.

Can a Non-Resident Open a Bank Account in the Cayman Islands?

Yes, a non-resident can open a bank account in the Cayman Islands. In fact, non-residents can open bank accounts in the Cayman Islands without ever visiting the territory. That said, not all banks in the Cayman Islands offer remote account opening. With this in mind, bank selection is important when choosing where to open a bank account as a non-resident.

Ready to Open an Offshore Bank Account?

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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